Chelsea Manning Officially Granted Name Change, but Will Still Be Treated as Male Prisoner

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 23 2014 7:40 PM

Chelsea Manning Officially Granted Name Change, but Will Still Be Treated as Male Prisoner

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Chelsea Manning, previously known as former US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, was granted a name change by a Kansas judge on Wednesday.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Army soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning was sentenced to prison last August for the largest data breach in U.S. history. Manning, who leaked some 700,000 documents to Wikileaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010, said at the time of her sentencing that she wanted to live as a woman and changed her name to Chelsea Manning. On Wednesday, a Kansas judge officially granted Manning’s name change request legally changing her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Manning will be issued a new birth certificate with her new name, Reuters reports.

The judge’s decision will allow for Manning’s military records to be changed, but, the Associated Press reports, it “doesn't compel the military to treat the soldier previously known as Bradley Edward Manning as a woman. That includes not being moved from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, where Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence, to a prison with a woman's unit, or receiving the counseling and hormone treatment she seeks.” The army did not oppose Manning’s petition for a name-change in court.

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Manning did not appear at the hearing, which lasted only a minute or so, according to the AP, but called the ruling “an exciting day” in a statement. Manning has also petitioned the Army for hormone replacement therapy while in prison, but the military has maintained that it doesn’t provide the procedure. “Manning has filed a grievance with the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks commander at Fort Leavenworth over the lack of a response to her request for comprehensive treatment for her gender identity disorder, including specialized gender counseling and hormone replacement therapy,” the AP. reports.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.